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Le Grand-Pressigny
(Touraine, France)

Introduction: Grand Pressigny flint is probably the most famous siliceous material in Europe, and it is together with obsidian certainly the most widely distributed lithic raw material in prehistory. One would therefore think, that a further description of the material and its sources would be utterly superfluous. Alas, quite the contrary is the case, at least in any language other than French. For those who have some fluency in French AND have a very good library around the corner we happily refer to the, in our opinion, most important publications, on which the better part of this introduction is based.

Anybody who wants to know something about 'silex pressignien' shoud be familiar with the article "Les silex de la région du Grand-Pressigny (Indre-et-Loire). Recherche géologique et analyse pétrographique" by Denis Giot, Nicole Mallet and Dominique Millet in Revue Archéologique du Centre de la France tome 25 vol. 1 (1986) pages 21-36. A series hard to come by outside the francophone parts of Europe.
A more recent but less in-depth and unillustrated characterisation is given by Jehanne Affolter in a short article in the Bulletin des Amis du Musée du Grand-Pressigny , numéro 52 (2001), pages 18-20 under the title "Séminaire sur le silex du Grand-Pressigny (27-28 avril 2000)". Again a publication that only can be found in specialized libraries, associated with institutions where a flint fanatic has anything to say about which series are kept up to date.
Good material descriptions with reasonable photos of thin sections can be found in Nicole Mallets 1992 thesis: "Le Grand Pressigny: ses relations avec la culture Saône-Rhône", which was published as a supplement to the Bulletin des Amis du Musée du Grand-Pressigny and can be ordered directly from the Association (see our link list).
The volume that is hardest to find is "Le silex du Grand-Pressigny dans le nord-ouest de l'Europe - Le silex tertiaire, concurrent possible du Grand-Pressigny?" by Marianne Delcourt-Vlaeminck, which was published in 1998 as a book-on-demand by "Presses universitaires du Septentrion". This thesis covers the prehistoric distribution of Pressigny flint in the Low Countries (Belgium and the Netherlands), Luxemburg and the northwesternmost part of Germany. As can be seen from the title, it is a good resource too for descriptions of Tertiary flint, notably the material from Romigny-Lhéry, which is often confounded with the 'honey-coloured' flint from the Touraine.

Geographical setting: GeoSetting

click here for a simplified geological map (20 KBytes)

More on the geology and geography of the region.
Similarities and differences: SimAndDiff
History of research: EarlierResearch
Extractability and prehistoric use: GoodForNothingBlørk

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